The Milligan College basketball team is sitting sixth in the conference standings, but coach Bill Robinson likes his team’s mindset heading into the holidays.
The Buffs (8-2) have won five of their last six games and should extend that tonight when they play at winless Truett-McConnell. They’re 2-2 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
“If you look at the standings, we’ve lost to the top two teams in the conference,” Robinson said Friday. “One was on the road (at Tennessee Wesleyan), and the other one (against Union) we missed 21 free throws and 21 threes. We’ve played pretty well most nights.”
Union has the lead at 5-1, with Tennessee Wesleyan right behind at 4-1. Montreat and Reinhardt are each 3-1.
The Buffs have relied heavily on their athletic trio of guards — senior Torian Sitton, junior Mickey Woods and sophomore Cartree Pettis — to impose their will.
“Because our guards are so good defensively, I figured we could put pressure on people and push them farther out for shots,” said Robinson. “I was concerned about our rebounding because we’re not big and deep, but our guards have really helped that situation, too. They make us go.”
They’re also leading the team in scoring. Woods, who had 45 points in a game early in the season, leads the way at 15 ppg. Sitton averages 12.6 and Pettis 12.5.
Sitton is shooting 62 percent from the field.
Tonight’s game at Truett-McConnell, an AAC newcomer from Cleveland, Ga., now sitting at 0-10, will be the last league date for the Buffs this month. They have a trip to Florida for a couple of games, then visit Southern Conference teams Appalachian State and Western Carolina to end the year.
“We have 13 of our first 16 on the road,” said Robinson, “and then it turns around for us second semester. If we’re playing well at that point, we take advantage.”
Chelsey Weddle got off to a slow start to the season, but she has come on strong.
The junior forward from Hampton has put up double-doubles the last two games for the Lady Buffs, who are 7-3 and have won seven of their last eight.
Weddle was nursing a shoulder injury late in the preseason and missed the first two games. She’s now averaging over 12 points and six rebounds.
“She went down to Wesleyan and exploded for 29 points and nine rebounds,” said coach Rich Aubrey. “And she’s had double-doubles the last two games. She just has a lot of variety in her game.
“She’s about 5-9, but we often ask her to guard a post player. And she can play on the perimeter on offense. She’s very hard-nosed defensively and takes on every challenge.”
Sophomore forward Allison Jones is leading the team in scoring, at 18 ppg. Freshman guard Hayley Wyrick is at 13.2, and junior guard Robyn Anthony is also in double figures, at 10.1.
The Lady Buffs are tied for second in the AAC with Union at 4-1 heading into today’s contest at Truett-McConnell (2-3). The Lady Bulldogs, ranked 21st nationally, won their first meeting in Lacy Fieldhouse.
Bryan (4-0) is the only unbeaten in the conference.